Archives for category: Training Skills

This week it is the return of the Will Clarke set of 50s swum as a mix of fast and easy 50s with increasing amounts of rest.  The reason I really like this set is that it is a great mix of tight turnarounds near the start with a high frequency of high intensity efforts near the end when you are getting tired.  It also fits really well with our build of speed work towards the start of the season.

One of the things most people find most challenging about this set is varying their pace between the fast and slower 50s at the start of the set when the turnarounds are short.  You cannot say you have really mastered this set until you are able to vary the pace when the turnarounds are short so please do try your best to do this.  Try and use a fast and relaxed stroke rate, which we will be doing drills for before the main set, to make sure you can make the short turnarounds and still be fresh enough to push the faster efforts.

See you Saturday!

Rob

It’s time to start adding some faster swims now as we build towards the start of the race season.  However, we’ve spent a lot of time over the Winter working on a good underwater stroke based on a good catch and push driven by rotation in your core.  This helps with a good distance per stroke and the trick to build speed is to increase stroke rate (i.e. strokes per minute) without decreasing your distance per stroke.

Try and do this by keeping your catch slow and patient and just squeezing as bit harder as you accelerate towards the end of the underwater part of the stroke.  Don’t rip it, though, as you will slip water.  The greater pressure during this push phase will push you forward a bit faster and your recovery and stroke rate will naturally increase.  Keeping a fast breath and short fast leg kick will also help with this.

We will be doing some drills on stroke rate after the main set today to help you work on this before we do some 100m pursuit swims to finish.

See you Saturday!

Rob

I will be away this weekend joining 1 of 5 Cambridge Triathlon Club Teams at the FolkHalsan Swimrun event in Finland.  But why should you be the ones having all the fun in sub-15 degree water and even colder air temperatures, I hear you cry?  So I’ve left you all some fun sessions in the box to enjoy in a lovely warm Impington pool.

You will be doing some steady aerobic 150s pull with paddles followed by some more stroke rate drills before finishing off with pursuit swims.  You will be doing 100m pursuit swims, like last time, which most people found to be more fun and rapid fire than the 200m pursuit swims we have done in the past.

See you next week!

Rob

 

With the Jess Learmonth inspiration from last week it seems only fitting to follow this week from some Alistair Brownlee inspiration from his silver in the 70.3 World Championships.  You can see a nice race summary below if you missed it.

This gives us a great excuse to do the Brownlee set of progressively paced 100s this week.  I really like this set as it’s a great workout, at a variety of different speeds, and for me captures well the combative and attacking style of racing that both of the Brownlee brothers have brought to triathlon.  To prepare for it we will be doing some higher stroke rate drills to remind you about the importance of a good stroke rate, which is more efficient than trying to keep your stroke too long over the longer distances that we race in triathlon.

See you Saturday!

Rob

It seems only fitting this week do the Jess Learmonth set of varying pace 100s with quite a bit of kick to work on the legs.  Why, I hear you cry, when we are triathletes and we all hate doing kick?

Photo by Noelle Otto on Pexels.com

Well, ignoring the obviously unhelpful self-talk of “I hate doing kick” when most of us really just find it really just a bit tiring and uncomfortable, there are three key reasons.  Firstly, I hope many of you will have seen Jess Learmonth in the ITU Grand Final last week and her very impressive silver medal to provide some inspiration.  Secondly, we haven’t done this set for a long time and it is good to keep the variety going and remind your legs what it is like to use them in the water.  And finally, I really do think it is good to do things that we find challenging to give us an opportunity to improve.

 

See you Saturday!  Rob

We will be keeping the race pace training going as we get towards the end of the season and this week we have two sets to help.  The main set is a shortened version of the positive split 200s set we have done before to help practise going out fast for the first 100m before settling into a steadier rhythm and pace for the second 100m.  The subset following this is based on a set Helen and I did with the Las Vegas Masters and is a good mix of sprint, steady and speed endurance work.

The subset consists of a repeated block of 25, 50, and 75 swims all off the same turnaround time.  That means you will get lots of rest after the 25, a good rest after the 50 and very little, if any, rest after the 75.  To get the most from this set you should sprint flat-out every 25, use the 50 as a steady recover swim and swim the 75 at a good-enough pace to try and make the turnaround time.  There are no extra rests between sets, though, and you need to go straight into a 25m sprint after the 75 even if you have little rest.  I think this makes it a good set to get you used to swimming at a variety of paces and also being able to sprint even when tired.

See you Saturday!

Rob

 

I will be away this week so have left the sessions in the box.  The main set for the session is focused on building your speed endurance by asking you to swim fast sets of 3, 4 or 5 x 100s, off a short turnaround time, with a Brucey Bonus rest in between each set.  But is this main set really a set of 100s or is it a set of “broken 300s, 400s or 500s”, i.e. sets of 300s, 400s or 500s with a short rest after each 100?

Both are essentially the same set, and have the same training effect, the only major difference I think is how you think about the set mentally.  If you find it more beneficial to think of it as broken longer swims or just sets of 100s I really don’t mind.  What I would really like you to do, though, is note your total time for each set of 100s.  I think you might surprise yourself if you compare this time to your 300, 400 or 500 PB and is why this set is good at building your speed endurance.

See you next week!

Rob

 

Photo by Roman Synkevych on Unsplash

Great effort on the USRPT set last week!  I, along with many of you, found it a really tough set as we’ve mostly been doing steadier-paced for a while now so it is really hard to go to the max intensity required for USRPT.  However, you rose to the challenge and I saw some great speed over many sustained efforts.

If you like watching great racing and more phenomenal speed I do suggest watching the whole 4 x 100m Medley Relay from the World Champs if you didn’t see it.  You can watch it here:

Duncan Scott may not be as familiar a name to many of you as Adam Peaty but his final leg in that relay was phenomenal.  He swam the 2nd fastest 100m relay split ever, in a time of 46.14.  I think you will probably appreciate how amazing a performance this is from Duncan Scott given the times we were all posting last week for fast 50m swims!

I will be away this weekend doing a sea swim with Helen so Chrissie has kindly offered to cover for me again.  It is the ratchet set this week where you will be looking to build on the fast 50s from last week by working on speed endurance this week.  All part of the progress towards your Project 56!

See you in a couple of weeks!

Rob

 

Did you see Adam Peaty smash his own world record?  If not, I would highly recommend watching it together with his interview afterwards on the BBC.  He is the first man ever to swim 100m breast stroke under 57 seconds.

I love a number of things about this.  Firstly, it’s an amazing athletic achievement to watch  someone who has changed the way everyone now tries to swim sprint breast stroke.  Secondly, I love the fact that he’s now achieved his goal of “Project 56” that he has committed to in a very public way and worked towards for some time (you can read a great article about Project 56 by my wonderful wife here.)  And finally, I love his interview after the race and his approach to the process of dealing with doubt.  What’s your Project 56 and what process are you going to take to try and overcome your doubts?

I would like to help you take a step towards your Project 56 with our swimming session this week with a great main set for speed work.  It is the return of the Ultra Short Race Pace (USRPT) main set of fast 50s.  This is a great set for increasing your top-end speed and so making it easier to find your easy-speed at a faster overall pace.  To get the most benefit make sure you swim at an unsustainable fast pace that means you need to miss out at least 2 x 50s to maintain your times.

See you Saturday!

Rob

Did anyone see the 10km World Champs Mens Open Water swim recently?  If not, the highlights of the finish are worth a watch to see how close the best in the world are over a 10km swim.  You can see the video here:

I hope you have enjoyed having some coaching from Chrissie while I have been away.  Helen and I were lucky enough to do a session with Las Vegas Masters Swim team while we were away – in a modest 20-lane 25-yard pool.  Yes, they really do have pools that big in Vegas!  I will be adding some ideas I picked up during the session to some of the sessions over the coming weeks but this week we will be returning to one of my favourite sets of fast 100s.  This is the set with plenty of rest so the aim is to swim them all faster than your usual race pace and at a speed you can just maintain for each 100 over the whole set.

See you Saturday!

Rob

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